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Along with their goal of political primacy, the Nazis sought total social control through Gleichschaltung . The purpose of this policy was to institutionalize Nazism in Germany - to achieve conceptual and practical unity between the Nazi ideological world view and the policies and practices of the German state. Gleichschaltung was applied gradually, but systematically, to achieve the Nazification of the German people. The process began with the Nazi Fuehrerprinzip , that is, subordination of the main power centers to the Fuehrer's will. Thus institutions such as the Reichstag, the presidency, the federal states, churches, trade unions, and the legal system were deprived of the ability to function autonomously. Gleichschaltung often depended on intimidation and the Nazis used their own police apparatuses to enforce coordination. Ultimately, all institutions would be subject to Hitler's authority or persons delegated to administer on Hitler's behalf.
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